ENERGY bills are about to soar for millions of households as the price cap rises in two weeks.

On April 1, bills will DOUBLE to an average of £1,971 per year – and experts predict they could top £3,000 by the end of 2022. 

We reveal simple changes in your home that could save you £1,187 a year


We reveal simple changes in your home that could save you £1,187 a year

So it’s more important than ever to cut your energy use where you can. 

Holly Mead reveals simple changes that could save you £1,187 a year.


IF there are fewer people in your home than there are bedrooms, you could save an average £200 a year by getting a water meter, according to the Consumer Council for Water.

If you don’t have one, your water company will estimate your usage and base this on the size and value of your house. With a meter, you only pay for what you use.

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Having a shower will use a lot less water than having a bath and that means you pay less to heat it. estimates the annual cost of a daily bath is £300, compared to £230 if you shower instead – a saving of £70.

SAVE: £270 a year


CHARGING your phone overnight might be convenient, but it’s adding to your bill.

Most phones can be fully charged within two hours, so you could be plugged in for an extra six hours unnecessarily if you’re getting a full night’s sleep. This will add £1 a year to your bills per gadget.

Consider turning the temperature down in your bedroom too, and snuggle in with an electric blanket.

Turning your thermostat down by just one degree can cut your annual heating bill by around £128, says price comparison website Uswitch.

Leaving your heating on a timer, or using a smart thermostat that you can operate outside the home, is more efficient than leaving the heating running all day or turning it on and off when you’re feeling chilly.

SAVE: £129 a year


WAITING for a full load before using the washing machine will cut costs.

If you reduce the cycles you do by one a week, you’ll save £5 a year. And washing at 30C not 60C will save £16 more if you do two loads a week, says It suggests hanging clothes out to dry instead of using a tumble dryer, too. 

“If you stopped using a tumble dryer for a year, rather than twice a week, you’d save £75,” says Tashema Jackson of

If it’s chilly in the house, try using a heated air dryer. Uswitch estimates they cost around 9p to have on for two hours, while a tumble dryer costs around 97p to use for five minutes. 

And if you’re replacing an appliance, pick an energy-efficient model.

Which? reckons swapping to one of these could save up to £275 a year. 

SAVE: £371 a year

Living room

LEAVING your TV and other devices on standby could add hundreds to your bills.

Games consoles are the worst offenders. According to energy firm Utilita, leaving your Xbox or PlayStation on standby will cost you almost 7p every day – or £24.53 a year. Your TV will add the same amount.

Archie Lasseter, from Utilita, said: “Some items use the same amount of energy as when they’re switched on.”

Having the lights on when no one’s home is a good burglar deterrent, but it will push up your energy bills.

According to Utilita, the cost of leaving a lamp on all day, every day is £36.79 a year. If you leave it on a timer for three hours a day, it’ll be just £4.60. 

Switch lightbulbs to LED versions and you’ll save £3 a year for every bulb you swap, according to Uswitch.  It might not sound much, but with an average of 12 bulbs in every home, that’s £36 a year.

Utilita said a DAB radio left on standby will add £4.91 a year to bills, and a baby monitor £9.81.

SAVE: £132 a year 

Home working

HOME working can leave you out of pocket if you’re using devices all day.

Printers and scanners use around 96kWh of energy for every day they are left on standby.

That will cost you 14p a day if it were on standby for 12 hours, or £51 a year for each device.

And if you’re guilty of leaving your laptop in red light mode when you finish work for the day, you’re also adding to your costs.

A laptop left on standby for 12 hours a day will add another £3.68 a year to your energy bills.

SAVE: £54 a year


THE number of appliances you use can make the kitchen the most energy-guzzling room in the house.

Will Owen, energy expert at, said: “Being conscious of how you’re cooking food can cut down your energy usage.”

Using a slow cooker rather than making a casserole in the oven, for example, will halve your costs, said Uswitch.

It said two hours using the oven comes in at 33p, versus the 15p you would spend leaving the slow cooker on for eight hours.

The microwave is even cheaper. Baking a jacket potato in the oven for an hour costs 16p, while blitzing it in the microwave for 12 minutes costs less than 2p.

Assuming you used each one three times a week, choosing a slow cooker and a microwave would save almost £50 compared to using the oven.

When factoring in your tea breaks, make sure you’re not overfilling the kettle.

Boiling just the amount of water you need will save you £6 a year.

When it comes to washing dishes, be sure you turn the tap off. If you’re doing it in the sink, leaving it running will add £25 to your annual bill.

If you’re using the dishwasher, wait for a full load and use an eco setting.

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Make sure you regularly defrost your freezer too.

Clearing the ice helps keep the temperature low so the motor doesn’t have to work as hard, saving as much as £150 a year.

SAVE: £231 a year


YOUR credit score is a rating that lenders give you based on how responsibly you’ve managed your money in the past. 

YOUR credit score is a rating that lenders give you based on how responsibly you’ve managed your money in the past. 

It helps them decide whether or not to lend to you and what rate to charge. If you’ve always made repayments on time, you should have a good score, but if you’ve never borrowed before or you’ve missed payments it’s likely to be poor.

Having a bad score means you may not be able to get a mortgage, credit card or mobile phone contract. 

Here’s how to check and boost your credit score. 

CHECK IT: Each lender calculates your score in its own way and they are secretive about how they do it. Check your credit file for free with the three main agencies. For Experian, sign up to’s Credit Club. For Equifax go to and for TransUnion go to

LOOK FOR ERRORS: Make sure your details are correct. Report any errors and close down old credit accounts you don’t use, like old store cards. If there are any missed payments logged against you that you dispute, ask the credit agency to correct them.

REGISTER TO VOTE: Easily boost your score by registering for the electoral roll at Lenders use it to check your identity.

KEEP BALANCES LOW: Try to only use less than a quarter of the total credit that’s available to you across all your credit cards and accounts. This helps to show that you’re a responsible borrower.

AUTOMATE YOUR BILLS: Nothing ruins your credit file quicker than missed or late bill payments, so set up direct debits to pay them automatically. Try to pay off credit card balances in full each month and if you can’t do that at least make the minimum repayment.

USE A CREDIT BUILDER SERVICE: Tenants can sign up to schemes like the Rental Exchange Initiative or CreditLadder which boost your credit score when you pay rent on time, but if you’re late you can damage it. Loqbox also helps you build your score, by making regular payments into a savings account. Credit cards for people with low scores can help, but the high interest rates mean there’s a risk you could make your situation worse if you struggle with repayments.

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